Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fake


Recently we had someone speak in our church who was sharing about a certain ministry. 

**As a pastor, I know when we speak or preach our tone or inflection may change. And sometimes even our mannerisms might change somewhat. ** Back to the post...

The man who shared is a pastor himself and was running very late. He was so late that I was rifling through texts in my mind that I could share in his apparent absence. The service started and we were almost done with the songs and offering and in he walked. (I must say at this moment there did not appear to be any humilty, remorse, or embarrassment as he sat down rather smugly.)

I then started rifling (for the 2nd time) of how to introduce this man, if it was indeed our speaker. I then thought that it could be a visitor. What would happen if I introduced him and this person says "I am just visiting"? I knew that I had to decide quickly because the time had come to make an introduction. I started to introduce him and the man says "That's not me................Just Kidding!"

Where some thought it was funny (and showed their approval by their laughter), I grimmaced from embarrassment and his lack of respect. I knew, if not for any other reason, he did that to get the attention off his extreme tardiness. It worked.

The reason for this post is focused on the word fake. As I sat and listened to our speaker share and manipulate the crowd, I grew weary. I watched as he "worked" the crowd and stroked their emotions. All the while, I seethed. I seethed for two reasons:

1. That he would arrogantly come to our church extremely late, make a wise crack to divert attention away from his tardiness, and manipulate our flock; and
2. That many in our church would so naively be swooned or be impressed by his manipulation. 

After the service, he wanted to spend some time talking with me. And I appreciate our conversation. However, the word fake comes to mind because the man/pastor that I spoke with after the service was not the same man who spoke during the service. Why is that? 

Are we as speakers/pastors/preachers a lot different in the pulpit than we are out of the pulpit? If so, could that not be considered as fake?

My goal has always been that I would not act one way in the pulpit while acting another outside the pulpit. Is this unrealistic?

7 comments:

JSU said...

This is just like Christians who have different faces for work, home, and church. It's easy to mask ourselves or put a little holiness in our step. As Christians, we have no excuse for hypocrisy. We have no place for manipulation. We have no justification for being fake. May we all strive to be the same person each day... a person striving for the glory of Christ Jesus.

jon said...

Hello Pastor DT,

I've been invited to preach at a local congregation before where I was 15 minutes late, whereas, I thought I was 15 minutes early. Their service began at 10am and I thought it started at 10:30. I apologized afterward, however, I was not invited back again... because, as it turns out, they were a "culturally relevant" church and I preached Christ, and Him crucified.

Your post reminded me of something that was brought to mind during my personal devotions yesterday. Many years ago, my family... and even my wife, used to think that I just preached all the time-- in the pulpit or in daily conversation. Yet, just recently I was blessed to overhear one of my daughters tell someone, "My dad wasn't preaching; that's just how he talks."

We are commanded to speak as the oracles of God in 1 Peter 4 and I guess I do without trying to. I am so captured by the Christ and His Cross that when my thoughts are there, everything else pales in comparison... and soon fades away.

That's why I suggest that C.H. Spurgeon, for the most part, is irrelevant to churches that want to be "culturally relevant" today. In his sermon, "Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility," he said...

"The Christian will tell you that he weeps over his very tears; he feels that there is filth even in the best of his desires; that he has to pray to God to forgive his prayers, for there is sin in the midst of his supplications, and that he has to sprinkle even his best offerings with the atoning blood, for he never else can bring an offering without spot or blemish."

This sentiment is few and far between these days. Godly sorrow that brings repentance is rarely seen, or even sought, because FAKE preaching has no spiritual power and only begets FAKE assemblies full of FAKE people, leading FAKE lives, of those that desire a FAKE heaven, that is home to a FAKE Jesus.

The quote from Mr. Spurgeon is irrelevant to most people who profess to be Christians because they will protest that that is not the evidence of Christianity today...

...but Mr. Spurgeon's quote, as you well know, my brother, is the mark of TRUE confessing Christians.

FAKE preaching and FAKE Christianity will never bear the fruit of joyful repentance found only through the infinite glories, majesties, and excellencies of God and His awesome work given through His Christ upon Calvary's Tree.

Thank you for the post.

Ever in Christ and at the Cross by God's Sovereign Grace,

jon

Jon Daley said...

Can you explain why you had a guy preach to your congregation who you didn't know, and didn't know if he would preach the gospel?

(or am I understanding this incorrectly?)

I am all for pastors "sharing" the pulpit, and it would probably be good if folks did that more often, but it seems like there should be a place for correction, and admonishing, so that the people listening are clear that you don't approve, and they can make up their own minds about who is right.

Dead Theologians said...

jsu,

I totally agree. Thanks for your comment.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

Jon Dailey,

>>Can you explain why you had a guy preach to your congregation who you didn't know, and didn't know if he would preach the gospel?

Fair question.

He was there to share about a certain ministry that is a good ministry. As he stood up and started sharing I knew he had been or was presently a pastor by the way he was sharing. He then took some liberty in sharing. By then it was too late.

Doctrinally, he was not off it was just the WAY he shared that got me.

DT

Dead Theologians said...

My friend Jon,

Thanks for your "fake" post. :)

I 100% agree with you. Everything needs to be soft serve like ice cream.

DT

Anonymous said...

I think there's some jumbling of meanings the way "fake" is being used here. I do not agree that a person who speaks one way, in one situation, and another way in a different situation, is thereby proved to be "fake."

I speak differently from a pulpit, to a group of people, than I do in a classroom before a group of people. And I speak in an entirely different way, one on one, praying with someone. And a different way again when I speak with my dear wife. Form and Function do not measure the same quality being discussed here (which I take to be honesty and integrity of character).

Paul did admit to "being all things" that he might win some.

That point aside, DT describes a heart weariness I have come to know, in the manipulation of people. Don't like it from Madison Avenue and I don't like it in a pulpit. And it does sound like this brother speaker failed to show a reverence or respect for God's people or God's moment with them. And now, to penitential prayer - for I am guilty of this myself, far too often!

Rev. Rick

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